Countdown to #ACCTipoff: Pitt Panthers
Thursday October 31, 2013
• The Panthers return all five of their starters and eight major contributors of both minutes and points. The returning core produced all but 70 of the 1761 points registered last season and accounted for nearly 88% of the minutes played last season.
• While a student-athlete at Penn State, first-year head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio set NCAA records for assists in a single season (355 in 1987) and career (1307 from 1985-88), assists average in a season (11.8/1987) and most triple-doubles (7 from 1985-88). Three of those four records - career assists, assist average in a season and most triple doubles - still stand today for the former first team All-American.
• Junior Brianna Kiesel was tabbed an all-Big East Honorable mention for the 2012-13 season. A unanimous selection to the Big East All-Freshman Team in 2012, Kiesel was the 13th Pitt women's basketball player to earn All-Freshman or All-Rookie Big East honors. Leading the Panthers in nearly every offensive statistical category in 2012-13, she scored almost 15 points per game and logged a Big East-best 38.8 minutes per game in league contests. She also ranked 10th in scoring, fifth in free-throw percentage and fourth in minutes played in the conference.
• Brianna Kiesel enters her junior season with 856 career points and is on pace to become the 18th player in Pitt women's history to score at least 1,000 points. Kiesel led the Panthers in scoring in each of her first two seasons, averaging 13.2 points as a freshman and 14.9 as a sophomore.
• This season marks a coming home of sorts for each member of the Pitt staff. Coaches Suzie McConnell-Serio and Kathy McConnell-Miller both attended nearby Seton LaSalle High School. McConnell-Miller's first coaching stop was at Pitt under former head coach Kirk Bruce, who is the current Pitt associate athletic director for sports administration, and father of another current Pitt assistant, Carmen Bruce. Assistant coach Lindsay Richards is also closely connected to the university, with both her father Tom and mother Mary Beth having played for the Panthers, while her brother Jason works with the Pitt men's basketball program.
• The 1914-15 season was the first for Pitt basketball. The program went dormant for several years after that and returned in 1974-75 making this winter the 40th season since the Panthers' rebirth. Pitt is 549-568 (.492) since 1974-75.
• Pitt's 2013-14 schedule features nine teams from the 2013 NCAA Tournament: Michigan, DePaul, Notre Dame, Duke, Florida State, Maryland, North Carolina, Syracuse and Miami.
• The 2013-14 season will be Pitt's first in the ACC after having posted 11 winning conference seasons and made 28 trips to the Big East Tournament since 1982-83.